India emerged as winners in the recently concluded ICC Under-19 World Cup 2022. The boys in blue added another trophy in a cabinet that already boasts of four (2000, 2008, 2012, 2018) previous titles. To top things up, this prestigious victory is to be followed by the IPL Mega-Auction within a week.
The 10 franchises will look to build their squad from almost ground zero. Franchises will be on the lookout for opening batters, gun death bowlers, batting and bowling all-rounders and explosive players. This year’s World Cup has certainly given us some special Indian players and what better way to prove your big match temperament than by lifting the World Cup. We won’t be surprised if some of these blokes fetch big bucks at the auction. Let’s take a look at six such uncapped players who can draw big money at the mega-auction.
Yash Dhull (229 Runs at 76.33)
An emerging cricketer from West Delhi, Yash Dhull missed two of the three group stage games due to Covid infection. But the 19-year-old displayed an indomitable will to perform with every opportunity he subsequently got. Yash backed his 82 in the opening game with an unbeaten 110 against Australia in the semi-final.
With a solid technique and aggressive batting style, Yash generally paces his knocks beautifully. Dhull will definitely make a great addition to any franchise which is looking for a solid middle-order player or invest in the future.
Raj Bawa (252 runs, 9 Wickets)
A seam bowling all-rounder is a rare commodity in the world of cricket. All the more so if we are considering someone who can bowl usefully and can also tonk the ball hard coming down the order.
Raj Bawa fits the bill perfectly. The 19-year-old derailed the English cricket team in the finals with a fiery bowling spell of 5-31. A few days back he out batted Uganda in a group stage game with a 108-ball 168. The bludgeoning knock surpassed India’s previous-best individual score registered by Shikhar Dhawan (155) in the process.
In a small profile feature by ICC, Bawa talked about how performing in challenging situations is something he “enjoys”. What better way to showcase that in the world's most competitive T20 league. Raj is not an unknown commodity at this point. One can be rest assured that franchises will be willing to shell more than a few for the all-rounder who is an U-19 star.
Ravi Kumar (10 Wickets at 13.20)
A left-arm seamer adds a different dimension to any bowling attack. Ravi Kumar not only did that for India U-19 in the World Cup but consistently picked up wickets throughout the tournament as well.
Hailing from the small city of Aligarh, the 18-year-old who is the son of a CRPF personnel, played a pivotal role in India’s win as well. Ravi combined with Bawa to pick up nine of the ten wickets in the all important final against England. Ravi will interest teams looking to pick from a pool of Indian quicks. His services will definitely add potence to any attack.
Angkrish Raghuvanshi (278 Runs at 46.33)
While Dhull impressed with his aggressive batting and Bawa grabbed eyeballs with his big-hitting abilities, it was a 16-year-old who topped the run charts for India. From the six games that he played, Angkrish Raghuvanshi amassed 278 runs. The Delhi prodigy stroked his way to a daddy hundred in a group stage game.
Raghuvanshi lacked consistency but with time and talent on his side, he can definitely turn it around. We have seen how many franchises are in the habit of grooming fresh talent for the future as well. Angkrish will surely benefit from the IPL environment and may attract some bids as well.
Dewald Brevis (506 Runs, 7 Wickets)
The list is dominated by Indian talent but one cannot overlook the tournament’s leading run-scorer. South Africa failed to make it to the play-off stages but Dewald Brevis made a long-lasting impression on everyone.
A 360-degree South African player, Brevis is being hailed as ‘Baby AB’. The 18-year-old struck 508 runs at an astronomical average of 84.33. Barring a failure in the opening game, Brevis was a run machine in beast mode. Brevis’ idol AB de Villiers announced his retirement from all forms of cricket recently. Franchises will definitely entertain bringing the junior AB into the IPL fold, particularly Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will be eager to have him in their ranks.
Rajvardhan Hangargekar (52 Runs, 5 Wickets at 28.8)
Right arm quick and an explosive lower middle-order batter, Rajvardhan Hangargekar has already grabbed some astute attention from Ravichandran Ashwin. The veteran off-spinner was confident that Hangargekar will “attract 5-10 bids”. Ashwin lauded his “ability to generate power” with the bat and commended his inswinger.
Hangargekar has given the world a glimpse of his abilities after consistent performances with the ball and a quickfire 39 (17) against Ireland in the U-19 World Cup. Several franchises will be willing to welcome an uncapped fast bowling Indian all-rounder who can also give them quick runs down the order.
Shaik Rasheed (201 Runs at 50.25)
India's U-19 vice-captain, Shaik Rasheed hails from Guntur, a small city in Andhra Pradesh. Shuffling through difficulties throughout his life and even after testing positive for Covid, Rasheed didn't lose hope to showcase his skills on the world stage.
Rasheed saved his best for the crucial matches. He scored 94 runs against Australia in the semi-final and 50 against England in the finals. Rasheed proved his worth in gold. From four games in U-19 World Cup 2022, Shaik Rasheed collected 201 runs at an average of 50.25. The kind of maturity Shaik has shown at this age, he deserves to play with the best in the business in the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL).
Come IPL 2022 mega-auction, everyone will anxiously wait to see how the 10 franchises will build their squads. The mind reminisces to the time when a young Rishabh Pant or an Ishan Kishan started bidding wars. There will surely be teams who will go the extra mile and shell a few more for a young star that they believe in. Let's see which young gun impresses us this year at the auction.